Monday, November 21, 2016

The Best Pancakes- dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free option

A few months ago, I decided to go refined sugar free. But this presented a problem. You see, one of my favorite foods in the entire world is pancakes. I eat them constantly. I couldn't just stop having them. And so I set out to come up with a recipe that didn't use dairy (because I'm dairy free due to intolerance) and that didn't have any refined sugar.

I'm sure someone is wondering why I didn't just google paleo pancakes and make those. I did. They weren't good. I needed good pancakes that I would want to eat all the time.

I made a ton of pancakes on this hunt. Seriously a lot. And this recipe is the one that I came up with. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Some good additions/exchanges for variation: Blueberries, mashed banana, dairy free chocolate chips, melted vegan butter straight in the batter (decrease the almond milk slightly to account for the butter) to make buttercakes, 3/4C corn meal in place of 3/4C flour for some really yummy corncakes, 3/4C oatmeal for 3/4C flour plus some raisins for oatmeal raisin pancakes

I haven't tried all of these variations, but I have had most of them! If you try them, please let me know what you think of them! My favorites from the above list would have to be the corncakes and the buttercakes.


Full recipe:

Ingredients:

1 egg
2.5tbsp honey
1 1/4C almond milk, unsweetened
1tsp vanilla extract

1.5tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp sea salt
2C unbleached all purpose flour (you can sub gluten free all purpose OR gluten free oats here)
1 (heaping) tbsp baking powder

Directions:

1. Preheat a griddle or pan for the pancakes. I like to either spray it with olive oil or use vegan butter to prevent sticking. The "butter" makes a great extra layer of flavor here.
2. Break the egg into a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients to the bowl and stir. I typically ad them in the order listed above. Mix only until combined.
3. Drop about 1/4C of batter or less for each pancake onto the hot griddle/pan.
4. When tiny bubbles form at the edge and you can see the pancakes starting to firm up slightly on top, they are ready to flip.
5. Remove from heat to a plate and cover until ready to use.

Makes 18 small pancakes

Cinnamon Creamer- Dairy free, refined sugar free!


After I had my fourth baby, my body decided it was no longer feeling it for dairy products. I was able to eat them for a while because of Lactaid pills, but even those no longer work for me. So no more dairy. :(

The biggest problem? All of my favorite creamers have some small amounts of dairy in them. Not to mention, they are mostly just chemicals and sugar anyway. And that's why I decided to make this. My own homemade creamer.

This recipe is actually my favorite. You can make some alterations to it, however, for some other flavors. Add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice for some pumpkin spice creamer. Add a few tablespoons of cocoa for a mocha creamer. Switch out the honey for pure maple syrup and add a dash of nutmeg for a yummy maple creamer.

A few important tips about the coconut milk: You need the good stuff. It must be full fat. The kind that separates the coconut cream to the top or it won't really work. You also need to refrigerate after making it. Finally, I find that if I make it ahead and then use it the following morning, I like it more. The flavors are better combined and the coconut milk has thickened from the cold of the refrigerator.


And here's what it looks like in my cup. I like to put it in first, then add the hot coffee. It helps mix it up more. Plus, I get this yummy extra layer on top of the hot coffee. ;)



Here's the full recipe. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

1 15oz can full fat coconut milk
3tbsp honey
2tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to blender or Magic Bullet (what I use). Blend until fully combined.
2. Refrigerate between uses. I have used it successfully for six days.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Banana Bread

Food is a whole big thing at my house. My husband and I started our relationship eating like normal Americans. You know, grab the nearest box of mac and cheese and add the cheapest hot dogs money we had- because come on, we were broke- and you have dinner. Over the years, things have changed.

We started out having to go low sodium because SOMEBODY *cough, cough, Shaun, cough, cough* had to go and have a few high blood pressure readings. That one was fun. Goodbye delicious frozen dinners.

Then we added food dyes because I was getting migraines. Our middle son was getting migraines. Our daughter was getting super grumpy and even more dramatic than she already was. And our youngest was throwing himself on the floor with great abandon in fits. They had to go. Good bye delicious M&M's. I still miss you a little...

And then we added dairy free for ME because after four babies who couldn't deal with dairy in my diet for the first year of life, my body decided it wasn't feeling it for that particular food group anymore. Goodbye cheese, I still love thee from afar.

And since I am apparently a crazy person, I decided to add the majority of refined sugar to this list of things I no longer eat. I say majority because there is one thing I refuse to wave goodbye to. That beautiful thing that calls to me every night from the freezer is my dairy free ice cream. I just can't even say no. Maybe once I figure out a good homemade recipe...we'll get there. But I just can't let go yet.

That brings us to the reason why this blog is now here. I have a TON of recipes that I turn to in my everyday life. Some of them are very loosely based on other recipes I've found while others are entirely made up by me. I'll link you to the loose base when it comes up. ;)

This particular recipe for banana bread is one of those loosely based ones. It originally came from this with several changes: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/20144/banana-banana-bread/

But I have gone ahead and made a bunch of changes to it to make it Kristi Friendly. Here we have my fellow baker complete with messy, "we're baking here" kitchen:


Step one, you need to mash your bananas. Set them nearby because you are using them soon. But first, you need to mix the coconut oil and honey together. It'll look like this:

After that, you can add your bananas and applesauce. The applesauce adds sweetness with less sugar. No one will notice. Trust me. I have the King of Chocolate living in my house and he actually inhales this stuff. While I was writing this, he came home and shouted, "What are you making?" *sniff, sniff, sniff* "BANANA BREAD!" So I'd say this one's a winner. Haha.

From here, you'll need to combine the dry ingredients in a big bowl like so:


Once all is combined in each bowl, pour the wet into the dry and mix only until they are combined. Apparently overmixing here will lead to a brick-like banana bread loaf. Ain't nobody got time for that nonsense. You want light and fluffy.

And because I forgot to get a picture before it went in the oven, here is the banana bread before it was cooked but after I stuck it in the oven:


Here it is all pretty and fresh from the oven! Notice the nice puffy center with browning all over? The edges are pulled away slightly and it's springy to the touch. Oh, and a toothpick comes out clean, but I find the other checks more reliable.


Here's one more from the side so you can truly see the puffy top. ;)



Ingredients:

3-4 mashed medium bananas (I've actually used as many as 5 with good results)
2 eggs
1/2C honey
1/2C unsweetened applesauce (I use an applesauce cup from the cabinet)
1/2C coconut oil, solidified (you can sub 1/4C coconut oil + 1/4C Earth Balance vegan butter here too; I've done both)
1tsp pure vanilla extract

2C unbleached all-purpose flour
1tsp baking soda
1/4tsp sea salt
1.5tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350* and grease a loaf pan (I used a stone loaf pan) with coconut oil.
2. Mix coconut oil and honey together in a small bowl. Add applesauce and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add eggs and bananas. Mix again. Set aside.
3. In a larger bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
*optional step: Add a small bag of chocolate chips (I would use dairy free here) or nuts or both.
5. Pour mixture into greased loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until the top is brown, the sides pull slightly away from the edges of the pan, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

**Mini-loaves take 25-30 minutes to bake to perfection. Muffins in liners take 18-22 minutes!